John Jacobe after Sir Joshua Reynolds.
The Hon.ble Miss Monckton.
Parties were a big deal in C18th London and everybody knew who threw the best ones. Mary Monckton was both a true bluestocking and a fabulous party giver. Guests clamoured to be invited to the house she shared with her widowed mother in Berkeley Square. Once inside you were likely to mingle with academic behemoths such as Samuel Johnson, political thinkers such as Edmund Burke and glamorous actresses such as Sarah Siddons. In 1782 we get a glimpse of Miss Monckton's character from the acerbic pen of novelist Fanny Burney who described her as "somewhere between thirty and forty, very short, very fat, but handsome, splendidly and fantastically dressed...". In this beguiling portrait we get no inkling of Mary Monckton's impressive girth but we do see a very mischievous smile and a somewhat coquettish gaze. The massive and ornate urn upon which she leans and the spaniel at her feet remind us of her social status; we are on a rolling country estate as opposed to a common or garden copse.£1400
14¾ x 24¾ inches